Addressing your competitive threat

Jan 11, 2018 Paul Kelly News 0 comments

The biggest of the high tech start-ups, Flexport, has launched an advertising campaign on The Loadstar news portal. Attracting millions of visitors and page views, the deal with The Loadstar is clearly designed to target the client base of UK forwarders. Our blog considers three points in addressing this threat…….

Straddling the digital/analog forwarding offer is tech start-up Flexport, who position themselves as full-service global forwarders.

Flexport’s ability to raise venture capital is unparalleled, having received over five times more funding than other tech start-ups, which means they have the resources to aggressively build market share.

While it would be nice to see our competitors simply go away, having them around can actually be good, because it forces you to give your best.

Having digital forwarders snapping at your heels pushes you to run faster, work harder and think deeper and may also provide opportunities to learn from their successes and failures

Here are a few pointers:

1. It’s good to be different

Flexport may have raised tens of millions and be growing at a rate, but don’t dwell on that.
Consider your passion and know-how and resources (especially the unique ones.)
Can they really match your experience and the lessons you’ve learned down the years.
This is your competitive advantage – it differentiates you – and needs to be featured in all your messaging (and clearly understood by your people.)

2. Ignore them at your peril

Flexport’s digital offering is severely limited (which is why they’re moving into traditional activity) and their market share (and their buying power) is tiny, so you could ignore them; assuming that your customers will also clearly see the difference in quality.

The danger is that their product looks better and is better communicated than most, which means your customers heads may well be turned.

You need to consider; reviewing your messaging, the appearance of your product and step up your marketing efforts to get ahead.

3. Don’t underestimate them

You’re well used to dealing with competitors of different shapes and sizes and you may well have struggled to deal with bigger competitors with their resources and capability, but the start-up tech entrants can actually pose a bigger threat.

The large competitors can get tripped up in their own bureaucracy, but the start-ups are nimble, can move fast and operate under the radar. Since their survival is reliant on keeping their investors happy, they may take big risks and cut corners, so don’t underestimate them and assume you can carry on as normal.

You can explore our blog for other tips on keeping your competitors at bay, or simply drop us an email and we’ll send you some actions.

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